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'Provincial nationalism' in 1 province does excist in the NL.

Reader comment on item: Why I Stand with Geert Wilders
in response to reader comment: what about the friesland flag

Submitted by Charles (Netherlands), Jan 31, 2010 at 07:21

Myth, you again are quite right. You have observed a special thing in the Netherlands: 'provincial-nationalisme'. It is most visible in the province of Friesland. That province has a very long history indeed (starting somewhere 4 centuries BC and during Roman times the people where called Frissi; it is a people with ancestry of German tribes; the Romans had a heck of a time defeating them; the Frisians have a history of toughness and stuborness) and have a somewhat special position within the NL.

Not only do the Frisian people have a distinct feeling of being different from the other Dutch provinces, they have a number of local customs which are being kept alive and annually rememberd through festivities etc. And, not to forget, Friesland has a very special position within the NL: their own language! It is not a dutch dialect, like in some other provinces, but a real language, which I as a dutchman can absolutely not understand. They speak it in schools, on their work, on their own tv- and radio stations, and even traffic- and roadsigns are (also) written in Frisian. The language ofcourse, all official correspondence and communication within the province must be written in the Dutch language, but the Frisians do absolutely have their own culture (and flag) and are very proud of it. Typically, the wearing and showing of the Frisian flag is not a problem at all in the NL. It is a 'contained' form of nationalism, which does not have a 'suspect' past and does not play any national role whatsoever. Your point was a good one though. Hope this explains it somewhat.

PS: on a other note, besides the above (and just to add to what I already wrote on the dark pages of the Dutch history in WW2): the Dutch have contributed very heavily to the elite waffen-SS, the military branche of the SS organisation. These were all voluntary recruits and came willingly into the ranks of the military SS and fought in different campaigns. In total about 25.000 Dutch SS soldiers would fight and they even had their own specific units. Ofcourse, Frisians served also. I have not seen any documents on the total numbers. But all in all, the NL have a peculiar (if not suspect) history in the WW2 meltdown...


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